Stranger Fruit

Archives for January, 2006

South Carolina is currently undergoing a dalliance with ID. WIS10, a TV station in Columbia, ran an interview with the SC Governor, Mark Sanford. Here is a choice portion wherein Sanford demonstrates that science classes were wasted on him: Q: What do you think about the idea of teaching alternatives to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution…

I just don’t get it. Over at Uncommon Descent, Dembski posts on a course in the philosophy of biology at the University of Bern (Switzerland) that includes a single lecture (of ten) that discusses ID, and commentators are acting like this is a big deal. Guys, there are courses all over this country that deal…

The Flew Maneuver

Once again, ID supporters are being a little economical with the truth. Over at Uncommon Descent, Dembski posts an op-ed by Stephen Meyer in the Daily Telegraph (28/1/06). Meyer sets the scene with: In 2004, the distinguished philosopher Antony Flew of the University of Reading made worldwide news when he repudiated a lifelong commitment to…

First real week of teaching

Last week was the first real week of teaching in that it was the first week when we had content-driven classes. So Tuesday saw me walking into class for a three-hour seminar on Galileo (to be repeated again on Thursday). The reading was relatively easy – Drake’s translations of Starry Messenger (1610), Letters on Sunspots…

Yet another poll

Yet another poll, or rather this time a nascent one being run by the boyos at TelicThoughts who mailed myself and more than a few other science bloggers to see what our answer to the question “On which points are intelligent design and creationism identical?” given the following definitions: “creationism” will be defined as “a…

Over at Adventures in Ethics and Science, Janet has a nice post on the riff she gave to students this semester on plagiarism. I have to say, I too take plagiarism personally in that I cant imagine the students think I am that dumb not to be able to detect it -particularly in this day…

Wes Elsberry at Kos

Over at DailyKOS, Wes Elsberry (of NCSE) gets interviewed. Wes graciously gives props to Ed Brayton, Troy Britain, Reed Cartwright, Mike Dunford, Pim van Meurs, and myself (among many many others) for our help on the Dover case, but frankly it all pales into significance compared to the work Wes, Nick Matzke and the NCSE…

The state of science literacy

If only to contextualize the Harris Poll I mention below, it is worth pointing out that science literacy in this country is fairly appaling. Witness the bi-annual NSF Science & Engineering Indicators (2004), which found that forty percent believe that astrology is either “very” or “sort of” scientific. This drops from 49% to 25% as…

More on polls

Over at Uncommon Descent, both Dembski and Dave Springer are highlighting this Harris poll from July of last year (you got to hand it to the ID supporters, they keep up with the literature). Dembski merely makes a number of observations (belief in ID increases with education and is more common in Democrats and in…

Some thing you can do

Do you agree that “[o]ne of the great strengths of the Endangered Species Act is its foundation in sound scientific principles and its reliance on the best available science”?  As this letter notes, “[u]nfortunately, recent legislative proposals would critically weaken this foundation. For species conservation to continue, it is imperative both that the scientific principles…